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Is a spa pool good for rheumatoid arthritis? | HotSpring Spas

Is a spa pool good for rheumatoid arthritis?

Arthritis is a debilitating and all too common condition, particularly in the elderly. While there’s no cure for the disease, there are ways to manage the symptoms, with some methods being more effective than others. Could a spa pool be an effective – and super luxurious – way to minimise the discomfort?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that leads to debilitating pain and joint inflammation. Spa pools can indeed be good for rheumatoid arthritis as a form of heat therapy, pain relief to help avoid further inflammation and promote symptom relief.

General recommendations for managing arthritis based on previous research include weight loss, exercise, keeping the joints protected, reducing stress and stretching.

Spa therapy can help reduce pain, promote blood circulation and some joint stiffness, among other symptoms. Sitting in a spa pool can reduce some of the symptoms of the condition and promote better health and wellness in the long run. 



Why are spa pools good for rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that causes swelling, joint pain and stiffness. Although there is little known about why it occurs, although previous research has thought that there might be a connection between genetics and hormones

Because certain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can present differently for everyone, there is no one way to manage it. However, there is some evidence to suggest that a spa pool or hydrotherapy treatment can be beneficial.

Some might find that their symptoms improve once they sit in a spa pool. Others might find that moving around in the spa pool contributes to increased pain relief.

The warm water can also act as a form of heat therapy for reducing pain and stiffness in the joints for some, especially after regular exercise.

For example, if part of the treatment for the condition recommends reducing stress levels, spa pools offer ample relaxation. Plus, spa therapy is a low-impact activity, so it doesn’t add further stress to the joints.

Other benefits of spa pools for rheumatoid arthritis

Hydrotherapy treatments such as spa pools are beneficial for a variety of different reasons. The warm water has always been known for its ability to reduce pain, fatigue, repair tissue and lower blood pressure - among other things.

All of these elements can reduce the symptoms and help with chronic pain in the long term.

Spa pools tend to have a therapeutic effect, making them an excellent choice for those dealing with chronic conditions.

Warm water hydrotherapy such as spa pools is one of the best ways to relax and get some endorphins into the system. That endorphin release can help with pain and improve your mood, offering additional benefits.

Furthermore, water buoyancy also plays a role in why spa pools are so helpful. That feeling of weightlessness is vital in relieving joint pressure and can help with long-term pain relief and relaxation.  

Sitting in a spa pool can also curb appetites and promote restful sleep, a combination needed for weight loss and stress reduction.

You can also use spa pools for weight loss and muscle recovery, which is vital for relieving joint pressure in the long run, especially if you exercise regularly. Spa pools can have weight loss benefits when paired with water exercises.

For chronic conditions, finding ways to reduce stress is of the utmost importance, especially during flare-ups. That is why spa pools can prove to be excellent for cutting down stress and find opportunities for relaxing.

Using spa pools for rheumatoid arthritis

If you’re looking for an at-home solution to reduce stiffness or gain relief from pain, a spa pool is a great option.

Whether you are dealing with chronic pain or acute pain, symptom management can be difficult. However, relaxing in a spa pool can alleviate some of that. Spa pools can be useful not just for short-term symptom management but also for the long term.

The repeated use of spa pools can relieve joint pressure, and help with achieving a much-needed endorphin boost. Spa pools, or hydrotherapy can also help with improving general health and well-being. 

The warm spa water can be incredibly beneficial as it gives you a chance to relax, and it offers symptom relief without any adverse side effects.

You’ll feel some of the benefits of using a spa pool fairly quickly, which is why it is an excellent option for gentle pain and symptom relief.

Warm water hydrotherapy has been shown to be effective for arthritis patients, and it continues to be a treatment option for those seeking pain and symptom relief. Spa pools are a natural remedy and offer many benefits for those seeking symptom control.



Spa pool workouts for people with rheumatoid arthritis

While the simple act of soaking in warm water can ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, a spa pool also offers the opportunity for increased movement, in the form of hydrotherapy.

In this randomised and controlled trial published in Arthritis Care and Research: The Official Journal of the Arthritis Health Professions Association, hydrotherapy patients showed significantly greater improvement in joint tenderness and range of movement (particularly women). A three-month follow-up found that the improvements in emotional and psychological state also lasted long-term.

What hydrotherapy exercises might take place in a spa pool? A few basic exercises include:

  • Gentle stretching: Submerge your affected joints, then gently move each in its full range of motion. Move hinge joints like your knees, elbows and fingers up and back, and move more flexible joints like your shoulders, wrists and ankles in a circular motion.
  • Squats: Move to the middle of the spa. Start in a standing position, squat down, then rise back up again. With the buoyancy of the water counteracting gravity, these squats are less a test of strength than they are mobility.
  • Aqua aerobics: Pop on some tunes and move to the beat. You can do aqua aerobics sitting or standing, and you can get as creative as you like with the moves!

While spa pools offer the ideal conditions for healing hydrotherapy, they can be limited in terms of space… which is why Endless Pools swim spas are becoming such a popular alternative. Swimming machines that generate their own current to offer a swim-in-place experience, the range of hydrotherapy exercises that you can enjoy in a swim spa is incredible: swimming, walking, running, cycling, rowing and more!

If you’re looking for natural and effective ways to manage your condition, consider getting a spa pool. Please make sure to talk to your doctor beforehand to learn more about whether hydrotherapy will be beneficial for you when it comes to managing pain and other symptoms of your arthritis.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of a spa pool and why a spa pool is good for chronic conditions, contact us today or visit a local dealer.


There’s not time like the present to add a hot tub to your existing pool and start enjoying all the benefits.

Want to learn more about Hot Spring’s range of spas and swim spas? Request a call back from our spa pool expert.

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